Review by CAM
Album: “Rotten Spiral”
Label: Punishment 18 Records
Date Of Release: 25 March 2016
1. Leaders of Deception
2. Skeptic Flesh
3. Neurotic Propaganda
4. Rotten Spiral
7. Hysterical God
8. Final Warning
SCHIZO have been pioneers of the Italian extreme metal scene together with Bulldozer and Necrodeath. SCHIZO was founded in 1984 and symbolizes one of the most important brand in Italian extreme metal scene. Originally released in 1989 in 12″ vinyl format by Crime Records, their “Main Frame Collapse” debut album is still cult among underground circles, so hard to find! Chuck Schuldiner, mastermind of legendary Death band was asked to join the band for the recording sessions of “Main Frame Collapse” in 1989; however, due to the intense activity with his band, Schuldiner was forced to deny the request. The band was on hold between 1999 and 2005. Their 2007 waited come back release, “Cicatriz Black”, has been extremely well received by critics and fans. In September of 2007, founding member Alberto Penzin decided to leave the band due to musical differences and personal problems with the rest of the band. He founded a new project called Camera Obscura Two. Then, Dario Casabona was named as new four strings player. By Scarlet Records, band released the third and last full-length album in 2010, “Hallucination Cramps”.
“Rotten Spiral” gives us intense, perfectly timed, beautifully executed melodies/harmonies throughout the album, with some of the most cleverly mastered combinations between the instruments and vocals I’ve heard in a while. “Rotten Spiral” is a real fast paced and head moving album from start to finish. If you remember the old school greats in metal you’ll love this, with the track ‘Skeptic Flesh’, and those melodic sections delivering power so intense it’ll blow your head off.
For me it was all about the solos, and they are brilliantly crafted, from the dive bombs and pitched harmonics to the tremolo picking, it does enough to make me smile. The title track ‘Rotten Spiral’ is brilliant, a real head mover throughout. Everything I’ve ever liked about metal in the last 20 odd years goes in this title track. Speed, Ambience, Power, Riffs to melt your mind, Vocally driven, and the solos to send shivers through you.
Who does this appeal to? Personally I would say anybody who likes thrash/extreme with a little more edge than the usual bands out there. Have a listen to track 6 ‘Freikorps’ and you’ll be enticed to listen further, maybe even check out more of this band. Why? Because the band do what many bands have been trying to do for years, they make it work well. Can you combine extreme galloping, dive bombs, and alternative speed picking in the space of 20 seconds? Of course you can, and ‘Freikorps’ does this brilliantly.
I’m not going to spoil it for you but the last track ‘Final Warning’ is the perfect finish for this masterful album. If you’re looking for a song to find that repeat button this is the track that will have this album repeating all day.
Overall, this is an incredible album which would appeal to all metalheads looking for something more from their metal.
SCHIZO – Line Up:
S.B. Reder – Guitars
Dario Casabona – Drums
Niko Accurso – Vox
Davide Santo (Bass on this album)